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Custom Growth Solutions, LLC | Sandler Training | Oklahoma City, OK

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Remaining flexible is why we need a lot of tools in our sales toolbox. Coming prepared with a variety of tools mean we can deal with a variety of situations. And some of those tools can, if uses properly, help us avoid unwanted surprises during sales calls.

I despise scripts for phone calls. An outline is okay, but when people ask me if I can help them write a good phone script, I cringe. Everyone can tell if you’re reading from a script.

There’s a joke that’s gone around the sales world. A young sales guy goes to his manger and is getting ready for a big sales call. They go through everything, then the sales guy goes to the sales call and comes back.

The manager asks, “Well, how’d it go?”

The sales guy replies, “I did fine. But the other guy didn’t know his part of the script.”

Sadly, I’ve seen that happen in real life! We get all pumped up with specific expectations of how an interaction will go. Then we get there, and that isn’t what happens, so we don’t know what to do.

In fact, I’ve even lived that myself. When I was young and fairly fresh in sales, I remember going on a sales call, then saying to myself, “That’s really not at all the way I thought that was going to go.”

Instead, we should establish expectations for a conversation before even meeting with someone, then again at the beginning of each meeting. In Sandler, we call that an Up Front Contract. If we have that unwritten agreement in place, we should rarely run into those surprises.

And on the occasions that there are surprises, we can fall back on our Up Front Contract. We can say, “This isn’t what we originally agreed to talk about. Should we set an additional meeting so we can discuss it?”

Sure, it can take guts. But a few seconds of guts is better than letting yourself get trapped.


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